This year alone, millions of disabled American workers will apply for Social Security Disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). Unfortunately, most of these applicants will be denied. On average, the SSA denies approximately 70 percent of the initial disability claims they receive. This means that the majority of Washington DC Social Security Disability applicants must endure the disability appeal process in order to obtain the Social Security Disability benefits they need in order to cover their day-to-day living expenses.
The disability appeal process is a complex and lengthy one. The first stage of appeals is called a Request for Reconsideration. Many disability applicants are frustrated to discover that fewer than 20 percent of these requests are granted by the SSA. By the time this request is denied, a Washington DC Social Security Disability applicant is already eight months into the claim process. At this point, they must request a disability hearing before an administrative law judge in order to obtain the benefits they need. In Washington DC, it takes almost a year to have this hearing scheduled. The reason for the extensive wait times is due to the backlog of disability appeals being handled by the SSA.
The agency in charge of scheduling disability hearings for Social Security Disability applicants is the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). The area of the nation that you live in will determine which ODAR office handles your disability case. The backlog of that particular ODAR office will play a major role in how long you will have to wait before your disability hearing is scheduled and how quickly your benefits might begin.
In Washington DC, there is one ODAR office responsible for scheduling the hearings for Washington DC Social Security Disability applicants. It takes this office an average of 330 days to schedule a disability hearing before an administrative law judge. It then takes another 45 to 90 days after the date of your hearing to receive notice regarding whether or not the judge hearing your case decided in your favor. Because of this, it is not uncommon for a Washington DC Social Security Disability applicant to wait nearly two years or more before seeing their first disability benefit check.
Hiring a Washington DC Social Security Disability Attorney
If you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits in Washington DC, you may be able to increase your chances of obtaining an approval of your initial disability application if you retain the services of a qualified Washington DC Social Security Disability lawyer. If you can manage to obtain an approval of your initial application, you can avoid the complex disability appeal process altogether.
When you retain the services of a qualified Washington DC Social Security Disability attorney, your lawyer will work with you in the preparation of your disability claim. They will help you gather the medical evidence that will be needed to prove your disability case to the SSA and will ensure that your application is presented to the SSA in the best light possible. This will increase your chances of obtaining an approval at the initial stage of the disability application process and avoiding the frustration of a disability appeal.
If your initial disability claim is denied by the SSA, your Washington DC Social Security Disability lawyer can work with you in your disability appeal and will be able to represent you at your disability hearing. While you can technically represent yourself at this hearing, your chances of being successful and obtaining disability benefits are increased if you are represented by a qualified Washington DC Social Security Disability attorney. Not only does a qualified attorney understand the ins and the outs of the appeal process, but they will also be able to prepare you on a personal level for the day your court date arrives.
Fortunately, hiring a qualified disability lawyer does not have to put added financial stress on you or your family. These lawyers work on a contingency basis, collecting 25 percent of the back pay that you are awarded by the SSA (never exceeding $6,000). If you do not win your case, your lawyer receives no compensation. Not only does this make it easier for you to afford a qualified Washington DC Social Security Disability lawyer, but it also ensures that your attorney has a personal interest in winning your disability case for you.
Click here to learn more about hiring a Washington DC Social Security Disability lawyer and to receive a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.